Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Day of the Oprichnik, by Vladimir Sorokin

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day_of_the_oprichnik_by_vladimir_sorokinDay of the Oprichnik gave me nightmares – literally. The cover shows a bear, with a dagger and a watch – the Russian brown bear being a popular symbol of the pre-Soviet and current Russian Republic. The dagger is a foretaste of things to come in the novel. The watch indicates that this is a day and a night in the life of one oprichnik (Russian: опри́чник, IPA: [ɐˈprʲit͡ɕnʲɪk], meaning man aside. Oprichnik refers to a member of the organisation known as the known as the Oprichnina (1565-1572) an organisation established by Tsar Ivan the Terrible to govern the division of Russia and act as suppressor of the internal enemies of the Tsar through murder, rape, torture, terror and theft. In this future Russia, Moscow, 2028, the Tsar is God, and once more on the throne, worshipped by a cowed nation. (Continue reading…)

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